Evading and Escaping the Japanese
Publication Year: 2001
Published by: The University Press of Kentucky
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List of Maps
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Little recorded in history are the events in the lives of the expatriates, mostly American, employed by the various industries and the government in the Philippine Islands. Doctors, nurses, educators, accountants, engineers, lumbermen, agriculturalists, governmental administrators, and a host of other specialists have been drawn to the Philippines ever since the Spanish-American War. ...
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On the morning of 7 December 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States military and naval forces in the Hawaiian Islands, leaving them in complete disarray. A few hours later, across the international date line in the Philippine Islands, they destroyed the U.S. Army Air Corps at Clark Field, Luzon, on 8 December. ...
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That night we were hit by a series of squalls that came from nowhere. We dropped the sail and rolled free on large waves. Charlie Smith and Catalina took shelter from the rain below deck in the tiny cabin. Chick, Lakibul, and I huddled under ponchos on deck, with Lakibul at the tiller. ...
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Although the trip from Los Angeles to Manila on the S.S. Annie Johnson was uneventful, I did not look upon it as a relaxing ocean cruise. Good food, swimming in a twenty-foot-square canvas pool on the afterdeck, lying on a deck chair while sipping drinks which got more and more tropical as we moved closer and closer to the equator kept me occupied. ...
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The Argus was small, dirty, and burned soft coal, the smoke and soot finding its way into every crevice. She steamed out of the harbor and across the bay, then through the North Channel minefield in a mammaduck-and-goslings file with several other ships under the guidance of an escort yacht. ...
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New Year's Day dawned bright and sunny, a holiday at the mine. We all lazed about, not talking very much. In the afternoon, several Japanese planes flew low overhead, by now a very common occurrence. With nothing to do and nothing happening, we all went to bed early, depressed and worried. ...
4. Back to the Mine
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The next morning Ken Hanson and I found a car and driver to take us back to the mine. Undet decided to stay at Cawayan. The vehicle was a battered and beaten mid-1920s vintage, seven-passenger Packard touring car that had long ago been stripped of its cloth top and the collapsible tubular framework which had supported it. ...
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For two weeks we spent most of our time at Capiz, with occasional short trips to Iloilo on the south coast of the island. Life was slow and easy. We were away from the stress that had been our daily regimen on Masbate. I appreciated being on an island where there was a semblance of a military force on my side of the confrontation. ...
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Our landing on Mindanao was not skillfully executed. It was the darkest of nights and we sailed directly into a large fish trap in the shallow waters of Dapitan Bay. We spent over an hour poling the boat this way and that before finding our way through the maze. ...
7. Into the Jungle
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Charlie Smith finished destroying the concrete dock at Iligan just as several Japanese freighters rose over the horizon and headed into the bay. A rather large but dilapidated wooden bodega stood on timber piles a short distance from the destroyed dock. It extended about twenty feet past the low water mark toward the bay. ...
8. Preparing to Sail
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The town of Labangan, about five miles northeast of Pagadian, proved to be a better place to stay for a while, for we were able to take up residence in a portion of a rice mill operated by a Chinese family. Our living area was a second floor loft normally used for storage of sacks of rice, but now empty. ...
9. To Australia
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With Charlie Smith at the helm, we headed southeast from Labangan toward the Moro Gulf. It soon became evident that the molave plank was a barely adequate substitute for a keel, for the Or Else tended to heel over quite far, even if the wind was moderate. ...
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The next morning, 4 January 1943, we boarded an Australian navy corvette for the short ride to Darwin. She was returning to port after a tough battle against the Japanese in the vicinity of Timor, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, where she had suffered considerable damage and lost several members of her crew. ...
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In May 1943, Capt. Jordan Hamner led a six-man team to Tawitawi Island, off the northeast coast of Borneo. As one of many AlB penetration parties inserted into the enemy-held islands in the South Pacific his team's mission was to establish a coast-watching post and to report by radio to the AlB's station in Australia...
Appendix: War Department Letter
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Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2001